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Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, died this morning. He was 95.
Miller was instrumental in leveling the economic playing field for players after decades of what amounted to indentured servitude to the club owners. Under his leadership, and subsequently Donald Fehr's and Michael Weiner's, the MLBPA became not only the most powerful labor union in sports, but also one of the most influential in the world.
Sadly, after decades of regularly kicking the owners' asses at the bargaining table and in the courts, Miller was snubbed by the Baseball Hall of Fame's executive wing, due to pettiness and bitterness by owners and writers. Marvin was a prickly S.O.B., but he fought tooth and nail for his constituency and defended the collective bargaining process with passion and fearlessness.
Given the current war on labor and bargaining rights in this country, the life of Miller deserves to be celebrated and reflected upon. Champions of the labor movement are few and far between these days. R.I.P. Marvin. We need a few hundred more just like you!